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Mac apps whacked by flaw finders
Published: 2006-07-25

A short analysis of Apple's flagship operating system published on Monday found that researchers discovered fewer vulnerabilities in the core software in the first half of this year than during the same period in 2005, but that applications vulnerabilities skyrocketed.

The analysis--penned by Claudiu Dumitru, a security researcher at antivirus firm Kaspersky--found that flaw finders uncovered 24 vulnerabilities in the core Mac OS X operating system during the first six month of this year, compared to 38 vulnerabilities in the first half of 2005.

However, that's the good news: While the number of flaws found in the core operating system decreased, more vulnerabilities were found in popular Apple applications, such as the Safari browser, the Mail e-mail reader and Quicktime. Collectively, 27 security issues were found in those applications in the first half of 2006, compared to only 3 flaws during the same period the prior year.

The popularity of Macs, especially among some vulnerability researchers, has made Apple's operating system an increasingly popular target for some vulnerability researchers. At the beginning of 2006, the first worms for the Mac OS X appeared, but the threat was largely academic. Yet, vulnerability researchers continue to target the operating system.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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